Handwriting starts before school
From the age of two and half,
A child will already be beginning the first stages of handwriting development. Often starting by drawing arched lines from left to right and creating circular motions on the page, younger children tend to write on larger surfaces using their entire arm, as opposed to their hands and wrists, as the general motor skills in their hands are more developed than the fine motor skills at this age.
Between three and four,
A child will begin to draw shapes, such as circles and squares. This skill is further developed in nursery school, where they will start to draw straight lines, curves, circles and dots with a finger... taking the first steps towards learning to write.
Their teacher will also help them to adopt the correct posture; the best way to sit on a chair, facing the table and holding the body at the right angle, with arms and legs placed properly in a comfortable position.
At three and a half, they develop flexion-extension; the ability to create waves using their wrists. As their flexion-extension develops, pre-school learning becomes more desk-based, with children encouraged to engage in activities which promote the use of their hands, wrists and fingers, such as creating paintings, while their work books become smaller. Between the ages of four to five, a child will learn to write capital letters. Their teacher will demonstrate how to develop motor movements in arm, fist and hand, so the class can begin to make smaller and more accurate shapes, forming both letters and digits.
Children will progress to cursive script, where they will start to join-up letters and words; the start of their handwriting style. By seven, children will continue to perfect their writing, in terms of both style and accuracy.
The writing tool is a vital part of this learning process. Starting out with a lead pencil, a child will soon move on to experiment with a ballpoint pen, whilst exploring all the extra possibilities that writing tools offer.
Text reviewed by David Boisdevesys, BIC Product designer and Ergonomist, and Philippe Kotska, psychomotrician.